Cover Up the Carbon!

21/01/2010 Return to news archive

Growing grass on your roof and other attempts to make homes carbon neutral are mere "green bling". So says Rachel Armstrong of University College London (UCL), who suggests that her smart paint can turn buildings into carbon sinks.

Armstrong created the paint by dissolving salts and esters in oil droplets. Repeated coatings react with carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to produce calcium carbonate - which is the main constituent of limestone - and alcohol. The resulting "biolime" will provide extra strength and insulation, she says. How much CO2 could be removed from the atmosphere in this way hasd not yet been tested. 

Armstrong wants to adapt the technique for use underwater to create an artificial limestone reef beneath Venice to stop the city sinking. She will present her work at a workshop at UCL's Bartlett School of Architecture next month. 

Article taken from the New Scientist, Issue 2742, 9 January 2010.